A bridge to somewhere

New bridge

This new bridge spans the creek just south of Bijou Street.

I gave the Innertubes the slip at midday yesterday and went out for a rolling 23-miler, missing exactly 23 tweets. This I call a fair trade, especially since I had a tailwind on the hilly bits while Twitter is always pretty much up in your grill.

The hard part lately is finding that sweet spot in the actual wind. Some days it seems to be generated by the handlebars. If you’re riding deep-section rims you’ll occasionally get a probing gust from port or starboard, generally when riding no-hands to adjust some article of clothing or fetch something from a pocket.

While out I noticed a new bridge on our major north-south bike path. It replaces an iffy concrete dip that was occasionally underwater during spring runoff and thus seems a major upgrade, unless you’re the sort of GOP dipshit who thinks that bicycles should be the littlest pig at Uncle Sammy’s trough.

I crossed it on the way home and felt as though I’d hit the lottery. Unc’ usually spends my money bombing brown people, giving a wink and a nod to white-collar criminals or holding hearings on women’s health issues to which only Penis-Americans and those who love them are invited.

But every now and then the crooked, simple-minded old fool throws the little people a bone — like a bridge that actually goes somewhere.

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26 Responses to “A bridge to somewhere”

  1. Khal Spencer Says:

    The important part is that the bridge indeed goes somewhere. Too many examples stop where someone decided to cut the budget and the net result is, as you somewhat circumspectly allude, a Bridge to Nowhere.

    Calgary built some really gorgeous bike-ped bridges. They cross the Bow River and connect a booming downtown to a lot of housing, some of which has been carefully connected using secondary streets and bike paths. Those bridges also allow the teeming masses who are working downtown to get out for a lunchbreak of fresh air and exercise. Its a good example of doing shit the right way.

    I suspect that rather than throwing people a bone, this is the spare change that fell out of Uncle’s pocket without him noticing. Cynic that I am.

    Have a great ride, O’G. Maybe this weekend, with my foot able to fit back in a shoe (recovering from a broken toe), I’ll get out for a real ride.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Damn, K, what have you done to yourself this time? Kicking the teevee during the GOP debates?

      My dislocated finger and thumb have been acting up lately, which is annoying. Affects my admittedly spastic typing. I’m committing more typoficationage than is usual.

      • Khal Spencer Says:

        Like most of the injuries I’ve had, this was another dumb one. Plowed into a hardwood chair leg while carrying a 3 gal jug of distilled water and watering the tropicals in the living room. Sheesh….

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Ow. That’s how I get all of mine, too. I’ve stove in the top of my head jumping into a pickup all dressed up for New Year’s Eve, dislocated digits doing shit I knew was stupid at the time, you name it.

        I’m forever crashing into bits of Chez Dog. It’s a small house, and I am not a small person, so I routinely bash knees and elbows into this and that. I used to open a fresh scalp wound every time I went downstairs (the finished basement was done by The Little People), so now I scurry around down there all crouched over like Groucho Marx.

  2. Larry T. Says:

    That bridge looks EXACTLY like the ones they put up in our neighborhood in Sioux City, IA a few years ago. One of them sort of goes nowhere but no complaints from me. What I WILL complain about is the surface of the “recreational” trail – thick concrete which began to crack up almost as soon as it was poured. When I imagine the cost of this gawd-knows-how-thick stuff for cyclists and walkers (along with the now-and-then city pickup truck) vs simple asphalt I wonder what construction/paving company kissed up to what government body to get it done? The only bike trail here in Siracusa is one that runs along the waterfront is is mostly packed dirt…but of course HERE one can ride on the actual road without anyone yelling “get on the sidewalk where ya belong!” though now and then a-holes in cars burning $10+ a gallon dead dinosaur juice do blow their horns at you.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Larry, I think this outfit must have the contract for everyone’s bike-ped bridges. I see ‘em everywhere.

      As to the composition of recreational trails, now … you got me there. The trail I ride most often here in Bibleburg is a patchwork of concrete, lumpy chip-seal and pulverized-granite road base. The concrete bits are closest to downtown (mostly), the newest (I think) and in pretty fair shape (for the most part).

      I like the road-base bits, but then I have six cyclo-cross bikes, and all the others sport at minimum 700×28 rubber. No skinny tires in the DogFleet. Never know when I might want to veer onto some single-track or take a pass through the pump track.

      • Opus the Poet Says:

        Speak for yourself, paleface. The tires in my fleet currently vary from 37 to 58 mm and I still have problems keeping control riding what is laughingly referred to as “paved streets” in my town. It isn’t the winters that kills ‘em, it’s the 110F summers with no rain and black gumbo soil that shrinks up to 10% from saturated to dry and rips the roads lengthwise leaving gaps as much as 4″ wide and feet deep (I never heard the rock hit the bottom of the deepest one). And I cry a little tear when I see your bike infrastructure, all we have here in the suburbs of Hell are park paths that just make loops around the park and never get close to anything (bike paths to nowhere).

  3. barry Says:

    I need to take a moment here to thank you for the sayings Penis-Americans and Vagina-Americans. Absolute genious. (intentional misspelling)

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Barry, I wish I could take credit for that, but I believe Charles P. Pierce got there first. If you’re not reading him daily, you should be. Dude is a perpetual-motion snark machine.

      • barry Says:

        Oh, I’ve already given thanks elsewhere on here for the introduction to Mr. Pierce. I just wasn’t aware that he had coined the words first. I think I first saw them on your twitter, so there you go.

        It’s impossible for me to keep up with Charles. Like I saw in one comment to a regular commenter over there: “blog never sleeps”. He’s one prolifically snarky sumbitch.

  4. BenS Says:

    Cherish your bridge O’G. It may be the last bit of bike infrastructure for awhile.

    Khal, bummer about the toe. At least it’s not June.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Ben, I hear you. We have a bicycle excise fee here that helps build and maintain bike infrastructure, but it won’t pay the whole freight. If the feds bail, and the state is strapped, well … we all know how that’s gonna play out, right?

  5. Boz Says:

    I’ve noticed that on several social media sites that traditionally conservative types are wondering aloud about why the current distaste among their leaders for human power has become a front and center issue, along with women’s health rights? Do they really want to poke the hornet nests that have stung them in the past, or are they just lining up behind current cave man Santordumb?

    Don’t mess with women’s rights issues, Rep fuck-tards, because the age old adage of “if moma ain’t happy, you don’t get elected” is word. Even the 5 knuckle heads on the supreme court are smarter than that!

  6. Khal Spencer Says:

    I would have thought that with all the serious economic problems in the U.S. and elsewhere, Santorum and the rest of the club would have better things to do than dump on women and bicyclists. But people are stupid, and Ricky et al are appealing to their base. Stupid people.. Its rather tragic.

    The other day I was having an email conversation with JN Musto, the Exec Director of my old union the Univ of Hawaii Professional Assembly. He commented that Mitt was a far cry from George. I Googled George Romney. Boy, was JN right….these guys aren’t fit to clean the old man’s toilet.

    • john Says:

      I liked what someone said about Mitt — all the noblesse, and none of the oblige.

      • Khal Spencer Says:

        That’s funny, John. Tragic, but funny.

        You can play pretty rough in public sector politics and still realize you are all on the same team. When my faculty union went on strike in 2001, the rhetoric was approaching nuclear. Gov. Ben Cayetano and I (I was on the union Board of Directors) were exchanging emails suggesting that he was about to push the nuclear button on the union and we were in return promising to scuttle the semester for thirty thousand students. A lot of that was the usual public bluster but backed up by Ben, who was a street kid from Kalihi, and our union Exec. Director, who studied in the UAW with folks like Walter Reuther and, of course, George Romney.

        A settlement was reached. It was the classic case of sausage being made. Ben and I had lunch after it all was over. He is a fiscally conservative Dem, I am a fiscally conservative Dem, and we ultimately are on the same side of the field.

        The bozos these days know how to fight, but not how to govern.

  7. Khal Spencer Says:

    Cervelo sold to Pon Holding Co. Any thoughts , O’G?

    http://www.bicycleretailer.com/news/newsDetail/6502.html

    • Larry T. Says:

      Ok Khal, I’ll bite: “Portfolio brand” Does that get your passion for riding a bike going? Didn’t think so. How long before the headline in BR&IN is “Pons consolidates R & D for Focus and Cervelo” and the only difference becomes the price and sticker on the downtube? Same old sh_t…create some sort of “brand” with clever marketing, sell it to deep pocket operation and make a nice profit. Sure, stay on for awhile to keep the brand’s mojo working…but eventually it becomes little more than what a Pontiac was to a Chevrolet in the end. Was MItt Romney involved in this one? :-)

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Gents, post-VeloNews I’m not even remotely interested in the kinds of bikes sold by Cervélo and companies like it. What can you do with one of these things besides train and race?

      Some dude came rolling past me on a Cervélo the other day and it didn’t even sound like a bike to me.

      Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad some folks like ‘em. Two wheels good, four wheels bad, etc., et al., and so on and so forth. But if I were to piss away a mortgage payment or two on a new bike I might go with something a tad more versatile, like a Soulcraft Dirtbomb with eyelets for racks and fenders, a pump peg and maybe a third set of bottle-cage bosses.

      • Larry T. Says:

        That sound irritates my cranky old ears too, though I still like RACING bikes, but they’re the old kind of racing bikes, the ones where a broken spoke (of course ya gotta have 32 of ‘em for this to work) doesn’t require a phone call for rescue. Everyone has their own idea of the apogee of bike development, for me it’s around the time oversized steel tubes were joined by brazing into lugs and Campagnolo’s Ergopower was widely (and not so expensively) available. Since that time frame size choices have gotten fewer and the bikes threaten to become more like F1 cars and about as useful in many cases.

    • john Says:

      I got me another brand of expensive Canadian crabon, a Guru — they still build them in Montreal (I met the guy who built it) and it rides like a dream. There is something to be said for a sub-18-pound bike when you have a couple thousand vertical feet to cover, even if you’re old ‘n slow like me.

  8. Khal Spencer Says:

    Hah–Larry, you hit the jackpot on that comment. When I hear “portfolio brand” it makes me think someone is marketing some very overripe shit to me.

    That Dirtbomb looks a lot like my Salsa LaCruz without the disk brakes. The LaCruz can probably squeeze in 45 mm tires. Right now its shod with 700-40 Schwalbe Marathon Land Cruisers for winter biking. Meanwile, the Long Haul Trucker is now running Michelin WildRunner slicks in 26×1.4 and it feels like a bicycle again rather than a lump of lead. Those Serfas Drifters (26×1.5) were heavy, dull, and slow. Riding home from work Friday night I felt like there were suction cups holding me to the road. I suppose they are bombproof, if that is all someone wants. I tried to ride them through winter since I had purchased them, but they depressed me so much that I just bought the Michelins and threw the Serfas in a box. I’ll donate them to the Albuquerque bike swap meet. Its gotta be fun or I might as well drive the freakin’ car.

    • Larry T. Says:

      My now-ancient LeMond Poprad does this kind of duty for me, but with Challenge Parigi-Roubaix tires of around 35 mm (my guess) I notice no difference in speed/effort between riding it and my “racing” bikes shod with Vittoria CX open tubulars or Torelli’s version of same. I’m not buying the sub-18 lb bike argument because I can’t tell riding uphill whether my bottles are full or empty and I want my bikes optimized for fun blasting down the other side rather than going up anyway. The Torelli Gran Sasso’s we have in our rental fleet, while sadly no longer available from Torelli, are pretty nice for this kind of riding too, I’ll take one down to check out a strada sterrata event in Tuscany in June. When/if it becomes time to dispose of this fleet I’ll be keeping at least one in my size, probably “Bugno” the one I’m riding down here in Sicily for the winter.

      • Khal Spencer Says:

        I’m still riding two Cannondales, a 2005 Six-thirteen and a CAAD-5 I bought shortly after we moved to Los Alamos in 2001. Both made in the old USA shop. They are both about as light as need be and I really don’t see any reason to go any more specialized. The main problem with the CAAD-5 is that it is a 50 cm and with my herniated disk from 2005, I henceforth a hard time riding it. So I got the Six-thirteen in a 52 cm. Eventually, I added a big, ugly stem riser to the CAAD5 and its my second bike. Actually, with the stem riser on it its a real hoot. I like the downhill handling of both of the Cannonballs and as you say, can’t tell the difference on uphills between empty or full bottles but I can tell the difference between the Fat Guy in April and the leaned down guy in September. Maybe if I was young and foolish, I would get a new bike. Being old and foolish, I see no reason to buy any of the new silly stuff out there. I can get a 28 mm tire on the CAAD5, so it often sports the Continental all season 28s in the winter and Vittoria or Michelin 23s in the summer.

  9. bromasi Says:

    I still love my old Masi Crit 10 spd, even though I have a Litespeed,

  10. game lagoon Says:

    game lagoon…

    [...]A bridge to somewhere « Mad Blog Media[...]…

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